#BloggersWithHeart : A Habitat for Humanity Project

Hi all! I’m hopping back in after a bit of a blogging hiatus to talk about a really cool project I had the pleasure of being a part of, thanks to Charlotte from Ciburbanity.

blogger heart habitat- logo

This past fall Charlotte reached out to a bunch of north eastern bloggers to see if we’d be interested in helping her with a really big idea: fully decorate a Habitat for Humanity home as an amazing gift for it’s new family. I volunteered with Habitat while in college, so I was super pumped to be a part of this. There were 13 of us in total, 2-3 bloggers assigned to each room.

whole group outside of home- bwh project

I hooked up with Michelle (Weekend Craft) to design a teen boy room and we had so much fun! Luckily our friends at Hometalk donated some cash to each of us to complete the room, and our friends at Wayfair donated some gift cards. Michelle and I also got super lucky because Evey (Evey’s Creations) ended up with a Tuft & Needle mattress that didn’t fit in her trundle bed so our kiddo got a brand new mattress as well.

We tried to keep the room super simple because our boy was somewhere between 14-16 years old and we really wanted him to customize it himself. Did he like sports? Video games? Music? It’s so hard to tell at that age and we just had a few Pinterest images to point us in the right direction. What we did know was he liked sleek lines, wood, and simplicity. So here’s what we ended up with…keeping in mind the carpet isn’t down, the molding isn’t installed, and we really wanted to leave most of the walls and furniture bare for our boy to deck out himself.

pallet headboard DIY

bedrtoom lighting

The platform bed and end table were both from Wayfair, and Michelle made that awesome headboard herself. We then tacked up rope lights under the bed to give it a cool glow (more on that in a future post!). The bedding (included sheets and a pillow), and lamp is from Target.

wayfair dresser and hobby lobby shelf

The dresser was from Wayfair and the shelf was from Hobby Lobby- I wish we had bought two of them! And then extras for ourselves! I loved it.

Also… ahem… Sorry this picture is a bit blown out, the dresser was really dark and we had no lighting in the room other than the lamp- it took so long to get this all built and set up that we lost most daylight (and it’s a basement room).

teen boy room - nintendo art

For the foot of the bed I picked up a storage cube and spider chair from Target, a bluetooth speaker lamp from Amazon, and some headphones and a book light from Movie Stop. Michelle made the old school Nintendo art and we just mounted it with Command hooks so it’s easy to swap out if he’d prefer something else.

It may not be super glamorous, or styled to perfection, but it’s just what he needed- brand new everything and a clean slate to build off of. Evey did a live tour of the room with us while we were still at the house, so you can peep that HERE.

Interested to see the rest of the house? Michelle & I did a live video tour of the whole house while we were there and you can check it out HERE.  You can also hop around to the other blogger sites:

LIVING ROOM:
Jaime from That’s My Letter
Laura from Finding Home Farms
DINING ROOM/ DECK:
Kris from Driven By Decor
Annie from Most Lovely Things
MASTER BEDROOM:
Jillian from I Am a Homemaker
Charlotte from Ciburbanity
Bee from Windgate Lane
KIDS ROOM:
GUEST ROOM:
Lynn from On Fern Avenue
FOYER/ MUDROOM/ BATHROOMS:
Sarah and Nick from Nestrs
TEEN ROOM:
Michelle from Weekend Craft
Stephanie from Sandpaper and Glue
What do you think? When we first got started I was thinking we’d have SO MUCH money to burn because I’m used to re-decorating and not decorating from scratch. But man, beds and dressers and sheets and comforters and pillows all add up!
I hope we get the opportunity to do something like this again soon!

Spoiler Alert: We Still Have Not Moved

So this is now the third post in a row where I share that we have yet to move. I KNOW.

After three (!!!) extensions it turns out our buyers were not approved for their financing. Despite multiple confirmations from their team that they would be. How this was not discovered prior to the first closing date, or even by the second closing date, is something I have yet to wrap my head around. But it’s what happened so we’re all moving forward. I have moved through many, many emotions with this and have settled in a zone I call “hopeful disappointed-ness.” We have dropped these buyers (which in retrospect, we probably should have done 2 closings dates ago), re-listed our house, and explored new options. The house that we want is still on the market, so hopefully we can sell our home quickly enough to get back under contract with it- as that seller is, thankfully, still willing to work with us.

Our house has been back on the market for almost a week now and we’ve had about 8 showings, with more scheduled throughout this week and in to the weekend. I know all the downfalls of our home, but since I also know all the awesome of our home it hurts my heart a little when people pass over it. It’s such a lovely little house and I’m trying to remain optimistic that someone will buy it soon.

In the meantime, it’s still a very empty house and all of our belongings are currently sitting in a POD in our driveway. We’re working to slowly move some things out of the POD and in to our house (essentials like clothes and kitchenware), but we don’t want to  unpack too much since we’re still hoping to move within the next two months.

At this point, I think I’m going to take a bit of a leave of absence from this here blog. It’s such a bummer to come back week after week with no updates, no pictures, no progress. I can’t do house projects because our house is empty, and I can’t share plans because we’re in limbo, etc etc etc. So I’ll be back when I’ve got something more secure to share!:)

 

A Slight Change of Plans

It is just before 8am on Tuesday morning, and until about 5:30pm last Friday night I thought this moment in my life would be spent nervously shuffling around our pets before heading to lawyers offices and banks for the day. We were supposed to sell our house at 9:30am and buy our new one at 1pm, but unfortunately that all got rescheduled.

This whole process has been a whirlwind, and honestly for as rushed as its felt it has gone by pretty smoothly- so we were bound to run in to some sort of snag.

Unfortunately there was some ill timed paperwork submission (not on our part) that has caused us to have to reschedule everything to Friday of this week. All of the paperwork for everyone was settled late afternoon on Friday of last week, but Massachusetts has something called a TRID regulation that requires 3 business days of down time after loan processing before anyone can buy. I don’t really understand it, but basically since yesterday was a holiday our three days are today-Thursday and so everything got pushed to Friday.

There was a solid period of time on Friday when I was afraid this move would not happen at all so I am glad that it is happening (overjoyed! relieved! breathless!), but still incredibly frustrated. Three days doesn’t sound like a long delay, but when you take in mind all that a move entails it really is:

  • Electricity/Water/Cable/Internet shutoffs had all been scheduled to shut off/transfer
  • Our POD move was scheduled and perfectly timed so we only had to pay to have it for a month
  • I have 4 bare root trees arriving to the new house tomorrow, which means I had to spend an extra $50 on buckets to temporarily plant them in once they arrive.
  • We had a glorious 12×16 shed scheduled to be built at our new house for Thursday and now theres $150 postponement fine and we have to wait a month and a half for it, which means all our yard stuff will have to go in the basement, which means I also can’t set up my workshop
  • I had outfit planned very carefully so that everything I didn’t need would be packed- so we’re limited on clothes and also don’t have a washer/dryer
  • We had taken off work for this and arranged for friends to help us and now their schedules have all been affected as well
  • We had pared down the fridge and pantry to minimize how much food we’d have to move and I had to go grocery shopping again
  • We had planned for my parents to come on Saturday and would have had 4 days to prep the house before showing it off and now we’ll only have like 12 hours

And I know that honestly all this stuff is not a huge deal, I know that. But it kinda feels like it is. And I know that 3 days isn’t that much when we’re going to be in this house for like 30 years. But it kinda feels like it is. And I know that I should just be grateful we’re able to buy our dream house at just 30 and 32 years old respectively, and I am, but that doesn’t stop me from being cranky either.

All this to say, looks like there won’t be any house updates for another week. And in the meantime, I’ll be sitting around in my underwear until Friday because I only have 1 pair of pants unpacked.

And if by chance I do go out, and you see me out, and I look disheveled, I am. Because I’ve been wearing this shirt for like 2 days now, and I had to hand wash my one bra and it dried weird, and I’ve been in an empty house with 5 animals for far too long, and I’m freaking tired.

How I Accidentally Bought a Tiny Orchard

Last night I got in a deep swirl of Google-ing, as I suspect we all do from time to time. It started off innocently enough…. for some reason I was wondering if almonds grew on trees or in the ground.

So I hopped on my phone, and in 20 minutes the following series unfolded:

  • Oh! They grow on trees! Interesting!
  • Hey! There’s a variety for my planting zone!
  • …and this farm in Missouri has a sale right now!
  • … they sell apple trees too! I’ve been wanting those!
  • aaaaaand I’ve ordered 3 apple trees and an almond tree

To be honest, my plan was to eventually get apple trees for the new house anyway. But my plan was also to watch the land and sunlight for a year and then order them next summer. But it takes like 2-5 years before they even start baring (bearing?) fruit. So I  might as well plant them next week. The day after we move in. I’m pretty sure I know where my shovel is packed…

I am so freaking excited about this though! I ended up ordering them from Stark Brothers. They have a ton of helpful reading and video tools, a long history of success, and great reviews.

I ended up with one each of the following:

  • Golden Delicious (semi-dwarf, self pollinating)
  • SunCrisp (semi-dwarf, with pollinate with the ginger gold variety well)
  • Ginger Gold (semi-dwarf, will pollinate with both the other two well)
  • Hall’s Hearty Almond (self pollinating)

apple trees - stark brothers

 

They’re being shipped as root-ball trees…. meaning there’s no dirt in the pot. From what I can tell this means I’ll need to soak them in a bucket for about 4-5 hours they ease them in to the sunlight and temperature before putting them in the ground.

 

Any tips for me? Any of you all grow fruit trees?

Less Than Two Weeks

At the time I’m writing this, we are 12 days away from leaving our Little Green House and moving in to Big Blue Cape. Holy cow!

I am filled with so many mixed feelings these days. As moving day gets closer I get more and more excited about our new house, and more and more emotional about handing  this home over to someone else.

empty sun room

I’ve been living in our current city since I turned 17- I moved here for college and basically never left. That makes 13 years here (in 4 different locations: college dorms, 2 apartments, then this house). Before moving here I grew up in another, even larger, city. So our move out of the city and in to the suburbs fills me with a lot of anxiety… which is weird, because I think I’m supposed to find it relaxing to move to the suburbs? I don’t. I have no idea where the gas station is there. And there’s not a real grocery store. And I think Target is going to be like 30 minutes away. I’m going to need to GPS myself to and from work for at least a month. I keep wondering about back roads and short cuts to places, but then I realize the whole town is like one big back road and there’s no short cuts because there’s nowhere to go!

On the other end of things though, we have so much land and space that I’m excited about. This move is meant to be our long term move, we’re hoping to be in this house for 20+ years. Which means I’ll have time to establish a good sized garden, and apple trees, and bird houses. Maybe even beehives someday if we (…I) get ambitious. We’ll have room for more foster dogs, and eventually I just want to adopt a bunch of senior citizen homeless dogs and there’s so much room for them to live happily with us. Our new town has over a dozen bodies of water, many open to the public, and lots of hiking and trails. We talk about getting bikes to scoot around on (that’d be a sight!). And walking to the liquor store/ice cream parlor (yes, they are one in the same). And buying canoes! We have already ordered a 12×16 shed and it’ll be delivered a day or two after we move in.

empty kitchen

It’s all very bittersweet. I must admit, I cry a little thinking about leaving this house but then I open up a picture of our new home and I can’t believe I get to live somewhere so nice.

As far as moves go, this has been pretty stress-free, albeit rushed and overwhelming. We decided to rent a PODS until for a month to help with the move, so we’ll have had 3 weeks to slowly load it up and then a week to unpack it at the new house. We also have a few friends on deck to help us moving day so in addition to the storage unit I think we’ll have 5-6 SUV/truck loads to bring over.

empty living room

Suffice it to say, I think things will be a bit quiet here on the ol’ blog while we finished packing here and start unpacking at the new house. We’ve got internet set up scheduled for June 2nd so I will be popping back in then with an update on our new pad!

In the meant time tell me… have you ever sold your house? What’s with all the feeeeels?! Let’s talk about this.

 

 

How We Sold Our House in 72 Hours

I’m just going to throw out there that at least 60% of selling our house so quickly was sheer luck and scarcity of options in the market. At the time we listed there were only two other houses on the market in our area, one of which was a short sale, and we were all priced within a few thousand dollars of each other. This made our timing absolutely spot on and perfect.

I have loved our house hard for the past 4.5 years, and moving is extremely bittersweet for me. However, because I’ve loved it so hard there was not a lot to be done to get list ready… in fact, we got list ready in 48 hours. So if you’re doing the math there, we prepped to list, listed, and sold all inside of 5 days.

front of house

Here’s the top five things I did to sell our house at lightning speed:

  1. I cleared as many surfaces as possible. I wanted everything neat, clean, and uncluttered. Which means I have an entire box of metallic skulls in my bedroom closet and a laundry bag of weird family heirlooms and breakables shoved in the back of a closet. Kitchen table, side tables, end tables, and nightstands were all made knick knack free.
  2. I depersonalized. This was not a hard task for me because I really don’t like to have pictures of us around anyway, but it matters. Also, I’m a big believer that art goes on walls and pictures go on shelves, so depersonalizing also worked double in clearing surfaces for us.
  3. I de-pet-ified our house. There is no real hiding that we have 3 cats and 2 dogs, but we washed and swept the floors like mad, we burned candles on each floor so the kitchen smelled like blueberries and the bathrooms smelled like fresh linen and the bedrooms smelled like cucumber melon.
  4. I left some personality out and about. There is a difference between depersonalizing and leaving your house stark empty. When you walk in our home, no matter how clean and tidy it is, it is clear that humans live there and love it. I think it’s important to make sure your home gives off a vibe that people are happy there, that they care enough to clean scuff marks off the wall and that invest money in upgrades that don’t really matter because it’s what they freaking feel like.
  5. I listened to my real estate agentBefore we listed she walked through the house and made suggestions and I corrected everything single thing I possibly could in the 48 hour window we had. This means I finished the half bath, painted the basement stairs, scraped and painted a ceiling, organized the closets, and replaced light fixtures.

It was an exhausting week- but totally worth it! We move to our dream home May 31st:)

(Literally) Moving On

If you’ve been following along here for the last few weeks, you know we’ve had a whirlwind of feelings and events around possibly moving. Things are a bit more settled now, so I thought I’d give a general update on where things are at.

outside of house

Week 1

  • Sunday: Went to an open house and fell in love!
  • Wednesday: Got pre-approval letter from our bank.
  • Thursday: Offered on the house we wanted, listed our house
  • Thursday night: our house had a showing already!
  • Saturday: Our house had 5 more showings (no open house!)

kitchen2

Week 2

  • Sunday: We had three offers, worked with our realtor to choose one
  • Monday: Finished negotiations on our house, accepted an offer
  • Tuesday: Finished negotiations on the house we want, our offer was accepted
  • Wednesday: Inspections scheduled for our house and the house we want

living room

Week 3 (this week!)

  • Monday: Inspection on our current home! It went great!
  • Wednesday: Inspection on the home we want! IT went great!
  • Thursday: Negotiations for inspections are underway, but we don’t foresee any issues

backyard

Week 4 (next week!)

  • Monday:  Purchase & Sale for our current house is scheduled!
  • Wednesday: Purchase & Sale for the house we want is scheduled!

genMid.71971477_28_1

So yeah- holy cow! We’re tired.

….but isn’t our new home cute? I’m still holding my breath that it all works out, but I am very optimistic.